As artists, we all have a system. A pattern. A favorite chair. Or sweater. Or hat. Or routine. I've read so many books on how to write well, and most of them seem to concur that a regular routine is vital. Although I cannot claim to having a regular routine, as my writing is mashed in between work and church and family and home improvements, I do have a system. Today, I'm going to share the components I need to set the mood before I can even begin writing. It is often difficult for me to get into the writing mood, but these four things are a must for even the most blah writing days.
It all begins with the Tea. In a particular cup. It can be any flavor of tea, but it must go in the Cup. Unless that cup has been contaminated by a fur face, in which case I have a trusty backup. Honestly, in this household, I end up using the backup more often than not.
The Tea is followed by the Cat, who is not an invited part of my writing day. The Cat merely accompanies the appearance of the Tea. She usually brings a friend, and then squabbles over who gets to be on the front lines of the assault. When thwarted in the tea theft, or after being swatted for succeeding, the Cat ends up in my lap or behind the computer. Toady, in the picture above, is modeling her "Thwarted" expression for us. She most graciously agreed to pose for me today in order to assist in this post.
Next comes the mood Music. I especially enjoy Celtic CD's and movie soundtracks, as they tend to be a bit epic and less distracting than my other albums. On a really bad day, I like to turn the TV on in the background and listen to Disney, musicals, or a BBC miniseries. I also enjoy creating playlists specifically designed for the project I am working on. Josh Groban is one of the few artists who somehow ends up in every playlist I create. Casting Crowns is another group I particularly find inspiring, as well as all of the LOTR soundtracks. I've been especially enjoying the ones from the Hobbit trilogy of late.
Lastly, I have a writing Hat. Actually, I have MANY writing hats to fit my many writing moods. I have quite a broad spectrum of interests and a hat to go with almost every one of them. There is the Sleeping Hat, the Newsies Hat, the Civil War Hat, the Cowgirl Hat...I could go on, but I think you get the idea. My husband has a nice collection of hats, too, and there is one in particular I like to borrow when he isn't home. I call it the Neal Caffrey Hat (from White Collar). I really, really want a Jack Sparrow hat someday, but I haven't managed to sneak a pirate hat into the collection yet. I decided I simply had to share a picture of the Neal Caffrey Hat, since I mentioned it, but don't tell my husband I pilfer it when he is gone.
The Tea, the Cat, the Music, and the Hat: all this just so that I can begin writing. You can see why my writing tends toward the sporadic. Often, by the time I get all my cats in a row, I decide I'm hungry and put away my writing hat and trot off to the kitchen in search of something sweet. Cookie dough will suit just fine, thank you very much. No need to ruin it with baking.
Does anyone else have a routine like mine? I would love to hear about it!